Coronavirus: Hospital resources & the prioritization process

Five on 2

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Hospitals are changing and adapting as health professionals learn more about the coronavirus. Governor Mike DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton postponed elective surgeries in March to help increase hospital capacity, but officials said Wednesday that doctors should now reach out to their patients with postponed procedures with the idea of moving forward.

Both said they were made aware of instances where procedures that were never intended to be postponed were put on hold regardless.

“There were many instances for procedures that could have proceeded where the patients themselves were very reluctant to continue to go on with those procedures because of the perceived fear about coronavirus during that time,” said Dr. Roberto Colon with Miami Valley Hospital.

Now, hospitals are finalizing the details surrounding which elective procedures can safely be resumed.

“We have to have safety for the patients but also for our hospital staff, so ensuring that we have adequate screening for all those patients and assuring that we have the ability to separate patients with COVID away from those who do not have COVID is going to be very important going forward, and then ensuring that we have the capability to be caring for those patients beyond the actual procedure,” Dr. Colon said.

Emergency room visits not related to the COVID-19 pandemic are down at hospitals across the country, but doctors warn you shouldn’t avoid treatment out of fear.

“While this has been going on, the telemedicine activities have increased, and what that’s paradoxically allowed is for some people that may not have gone to the physician’s office to actually have some improved access to care to be able to get care from the comfort of their home, avoiding some of those emergency room visits,” said Dr. Colon.

He goes on to say that lower E.R. numbers don’t necessarily mean people are avoiding treatment out of fear, but possibly that they’re getting their treatment in another format.

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